Googled: James Balog ’74

Published: April 2009

A March 24 television documentary produced by PBS’s NOVA and the National Geographic Society chronicles the efforts of award-winning nature photographer James Balog ’74 to document the “latest evidence of a radically warming planet.” Balog, director of the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS), uses time-lapse photography to measure glacial melt at 15 mountain and arctic locations in the Northern Hemisphere. The film follows him as he sets up and monitors his cameras in remote, often dangerous places, recording the accelerating pace at which glaciers and ice sheets are breaking up or melting into the sea with the potential of changing world weather patterns and flooding densely inhabited coastlines.

For Balog, who has produced six books of photographs, won numerous photography awards, and exhibited his work in more than 100 museums and galleries worldwide, EIS is an opportunity to use photography for a purpose. “I’m trying to make a commentary about humans encroaching on nature,” he said in an interview with Photo District News magazine. “I hope that my work helps people to think and see differently. And ultimately—we can only hope—to behave differently.”

This feature was posted on Friday, April 17, 2009 and is filed under Research.
Writer: Daniel Soyer